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IP.Nexus Dev Update: Support Desk Management

One feature we're really excited about in IP.Nexus is the Support Desk. Many administrators selling products on their site will need to offer support services to members.
In this blog entry, we'll go through some of the settings available allowing you to control the Support Desk.

Please note, the design of some areas shown in the screenshots shown are not finalised and subject to change.


Departments

IP.Nexus supports any number of departments. Each department can be:

  • Private - members cannot submit support requests directly (for example, an "advanced support" department).
  • Public - any member can submit support requests (for example, a "sales" department).
  • Package associated - members who have purchased selected products can support requests (for example a "general support" department).




Staff

You can control which staff can access which departments. For example, you could have your customer service staff only see the sales and customer service departments, and your technicians only see the support departments.
You can define a member or an entire group's access. If a member is in a group which one access level, and they also have their own access level, their own will override the groups.



Statuses

IP.Nexus allows you to customise the statuses for support requests. A set of standard statuses are in by default, but you can customise, remove or add your own.

There are a number of settings allowing you to control the behaviour of a status, which you can see in this screenshot:



Stock Actions

One thing we really like about the Support Desk in IP.Nexus is something we call Stock Actions.
Many Support Desks feature stock replies or canned responses. We find when we do technical support, than often a stock reply comes with an action. For example, if a support request needs to be escalated to Tier 2 support, we will give a stock reply, change the department to "Tier 2", change the status to "Open", and release control.
Stock Actions in IP.Nexus allow this process to be automated. They can give a reply, and at the same time, set the status, department and assigned staff member on the support request.



Incoming Emails

IP.Nexus not only allows a member to reply through the client area, they can Email a new request or a reply to a request and IP.Nexus will process it.
We will discuss a little more about the requirements for this feature and how it works in a future blog entry.

You may have noticed in the earlier screenshot showing the department settings that each department can have an incoming Email address. For example, you could set IP.Nexus so Emails to "sales@example.com" go to your sales department, while EMails to "support@example.com" go to your support department.

IP.Nexus also allows you to define rules to filter incoming Emails. For example, if you are receiving spam from a certain address, you could instruct IP.Nexus to discard that Email.
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'This is not IPS.' Darn.

Looks great, dying to get my hands on this. Interested in seeing how the incoming mail will be fetched, since I only have SMTP and POP to access it and I didn't see any mailserver/password settings.

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[quote name='Nick²' date='14 June 2010 - 09:22 AM']
'This is not IPS.' Darn.

Looks great, dying to get my hands on this. Interested in seeing how the incoming mail will be fetched, since I only have SMTP and POP to access it and I didn't see any mailserver/password settings.


Thanks for pointing that out ;)

I'm going to be writing a specific blog entry about it later this week or early next week.

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Very nice - thanks. :)

How is this handling incoming emails - do we need to set up POP3 mailbox scanning?

Will this be purely within the 'store' or can there be a link/tab on the forums as well so that we can offer support for forum issues as well.

Can we block certain domains from emailing or even certain top level domains (.ru, .cn) - *@domain.com or *.*.ru etc.

EDIT: Was compiling email so may have already have been partially answered.

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This looks exactly like what i am looking for :thumbsup:
Like .ian i would also be interested in integrating the support desk into other areas of my site.
When i integrate a form that sends an email into one of my IP.Content sites i could also allow guests to send tickets?
I intend to use this feature for something like a general support and don't need to tie it with subscriptions or products bought in IP.Nexus.
So i would like to see some pictures of how the client area looks when a member deals with tickets.

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[quote name='Camoo' date='14 June 2010 - 12:00 PM']
This looks exactly like what i am looking for :thumbsup:
Like .ian i would also be interested in integrating the support desk into other areas of my site.
When i integrate a form that sends an email into one of my IP.Content sites i could also allow guests to send tickets?
I intend to use this feature for something like a general support and don't need to tie it with subscriptions or products bought in IP.Nexus.
So i would like to see some pictures of how the client area looks when a member deals with tickets.


You could use the support desk completely independently of the store, yes.
If a guest Emails in a support request, IP.Nexus will recognise this and when a staff member replies, just send an Email with the reply content (which they could then reply to again, which would reopen the ticket). If they then register, IP.Nexus will realise they have support requests in the system and assign them to the new account.

I will be doing blog entries this week showing the rest of the support system, both front and back end.

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[quote name='Mark' date='14 June 2010 - 03:59 PM']
You could use the support desk completely independently of the store, yes.
If a guest Emails in a support request, IP.Nexus will recognise this and when a staff member replies, just send an Email with the reply content (which they could then reply to again, which would reopen the ticket). If they then register, IP.Nexus will realise they have support requests in the system and assign them to the new account.

I will be doing blog entries this week showing the rest of the support system, both front and back end.


Perfect! The last time i felt so excited was when i bought IP.Board :wub:

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[quote name='Legeam' date='14 June 2010 - 02:49 PM']
Will it support time tracking? Meaning we can keep track of the time it takes to support a ticket from the time its open till it closes?


Not sure what you mean. You can of course see when a ticket was opened and when replies were added.


[quote name='PrefeX' date='14 June 2010 - 03:30 PM']
Will the support system support attachements in the tickets?


Yes.

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[quote name='Nuclear General' date='14 June 2010 - 01:08 PM']
Legeam means that, when the support ticket opens, and when it closes, it shows a timestamp on how long it took to finalize that support request.


Could be helpful, at least for large organizations, because then it leaves open the ability to send an automated response saying that the average ticket response is a certain amount of time and that they may receive a response shortly after that. Also could be good for tracking how long different people are taking to respond to the tickets they get. Someone who is taking unusually long might need some assistance or may not be qualified for the tickets they are getting. Someone else who is flying through tickets might be giving crap responses or possibly even carrying on a private communication with someone who keeps responding.

Either way, allows the following of activity to ensure that better support is provided and allows a business to limit abuse of privileges and such.

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This is awesome, I am looking at starting a bussiness already just looking at the software you are coming up with I want this and I want it now!! ... Will there be a bundle with IPB IP.Content and then IP.Nexus?

Please Please Please...!!! awesome work guys can't wait...

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[quote name='FadE.' date='15 June 2010 - 07:53 AM'] This is awesome, I am looking at starting a bussiness already just looking at the software you are coming up with I want this and I want it now!! ... Will there be a bundle with IPB IP.Content and then IP.Nexus?

Please Please Please...!!! awesome work guys can't wait...

IP.Nexus will be introduced as a presale, so look for that before the price goes up.

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